With Fabricant 100 behind us, Shonen Jump will be adding to its roster of manga this month. Today’s new release is Yoshihiko Hayashi’s MamaYuyu. This new take on the “demon lord and hero” formula is already subverting expectations, even one chapter in! But is it worth your time?
Of course, the easiest way to find out is by reading the first chapter (it’s free!). But if you’d like more insight on what makes this particular title shine before you dive in, read on. We’ll be keeping spoilers light, but you will see some of the prettier pages. Because, well, that’s part of the appeal.
Peace in Our Time
The stars of MamaYuyu are a demon lord and a hero in a surprising situation: they’re adopted family! When a two-month-old Corleo was marked as the next hero, Demon Lord Mamama adopted him. (Despite her youthful appearance, she’s in her thirties.) This all came at the beginning of a major sea change: peace between demons and humans.
In a surprisingly modern world, there’s little need for heroes in a traditional sense. Under Mamama’s protection, Corleo isn’t sure what to do with himself. But that will all change when another hero arrives from a far more violent world…
Most of the art of MamaYuyu chapter 1 is relatively tame. It’s a time of peace, after all. But when we see a demon lord from another world, it gets kind of Go Nagai up in here. Hayashi, who received an honorable mention at 2021’s Tezuka Prize, pulls out all the stops when peace is no longer an option. The eldritch nature of the horrors on the page is a sharp contrast to everything that’s come before.
As the first chapter comes to a close, these two visual styles begin to coalesce even more: the horrors of a world at war bleeding into Corleo’s once peaceful existence. Where only hours before his biggest concern was whether or not to go to college, everything has changed.
What It Means
One question persists throughout the entire first chapter of MamaYuyu: What does it mean to be a hero? In a world where heroes are no longer “necessary,” it’s little more than a title. In the world that mingles with Corleo’s, heroism can be muddied by anger, fear, and a sense of duty. Even Mamama, whose goal was to allow her adopted son to live a peaceful life, realizes that this burning question deserves to be answered.
So what is Corleo’s role in this peaceful world? What does being a hero really mean? And how can his demon lord mom help him? Get on board with MamaYuyu and find out!
Want more Shonen Jump recommendations? Check these out!